Tel Aviv, Israel — The Israel Defense Forces left voice messages with 100,000 citizens of the Gaza Strip’s north, telling them to “evacuate for the sake of your safety by 8:00 a.m.” Wednesday, or 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.
On Tuesday, Hamas jihadis fired 141 rockets into Israel over the span of 15 hours, roughly the equivalent of one rocket every six minutes.
Early Wednesday, Israeli airstrikes targeted the home of senior Hamas official Ismail al-Ashqar, who is also a member of Parliament in the newly unified Palestinian government.
Dror Khenen, 37, became the first Israeli to be killed during Operation Protective Edge. Khenin was volunteering his time to distribute food to IDF soldiers near the Erez crossing when he was struck by a mortar attack from Gaza. Khenen worked as a construction manager and was also a volunteer firefighter. He leaves behind his wife and three children.
Israeli President Shimon Peres said of the ongoing conflict late Tuesday, “There is a moral problem, but I don’t have a moral answer to it. If they are shooting at us, and don’t let our mothers and their children… have a full night’s sleep, what can we do?”
Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk tweeted late Tuesday that an official decision on Egypt’s ceasefire proposal has yet to be made.
Even after Hamas completely ignored Egypt’s initial proposal, The United States is said to be committed to a ceasefire despite the terror group’s de facto rejection. US Secretary of State John Kerry said he would be willing to fly to Egypt at a moment’s notice if his assistance was needed in negotiations. “We’re going to stay at it. The Secretary [Kerry] will remain engaged with the parties. In our view we need to all remember what’s at stake here: we will continue to work for a ceasefire,” said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.